Happily Clinging

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Man, Ryan is a natural.  He takes Obama’s bitterly clinging to guns and religion remark from 2008, rams it down his throat and does it with a smile.  This was at a steel mill in a suburb of Pittsburgh.  Latest polls show Wisconsin and Michigan backing Romney and Ryan.  Can we say Reagan Ryan Democrats?

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  1. After fretting about Akin all day, this put a smile on my face. The “Catholic deerhunter” should go over very well in Michigan.

    And hey, the Obama adminstration is going to send BIDEN to the GOP convention. While he is there, perhaps he’ll ask Jindal if he runs a 7-11, tell Ryan that he, Biden “has a much higher IQ,” and inform Alan West that West will be “put back in chains” by Romney.
    Who knows what will come out of Joe’s mouth next? And what in the world is the WH thinking of? I am sure Reince Pribuses’ otherwise gloomy day was lightened by that bit of information – he stated that the Dem convention might just have a surprise visitor of its’ own. Pass the popcorn!

  2. Ivan, you miss the point. He is not trying to be the new Bob Hope. (If you want comedy, watch the Biden videos.)

    Ryan might very well be the new Ronald Reagan.

  3. Oh, the new Ronald Reagan – with one big difference.

    Liberals delighted in portraying Reagan as dumb, although Reagan was not.

    Good luck in trying to portray Ryan as dumb.

  4. Donna V, that Ryan is considered an intellectual heavyweight is more a commentary on the state of US politics than his ability. The US has not had a president with intellectual heft since Richard Nixon. A votary of Ayn Rand cannot be taken seriously as a conservative intellectual if only because the case for liberty and its connection to small government have been made with far greater insight into human nature and society by men such as Burke, de Tocqueville and Hayek; the Rand fans are basically right-wing pseudo intellectuals, the prime example being Alan Greenspan.

  5. Please Ivan. Nixon an intellectual heavy weight! Yeah, the man who turned a third rate political burglary into an overwhelming political crisis that drove him from office, handed the Democrats majorities in Congress in the 1974 elections that they used to facilitate the Communist conquest of Southeast Asia, and gave the nation the curse of Carter in 1976. Nixon was many things: liberal Republican, mendacious, a poor politician, creepy, a big government advocate, but an intellectual heavyweight, never!, as the turgid tomes he churned out in retirement amply demonstrated.

    As for Ryan being a votary of Rand, that simply is not true. What Ryan understands is that the US must get its financial house in order. That is not Randian, but simple common sense. Fortunately Ryan, in addition to common sense, also brings to the table an understanding of the US budget sharper than any of his contemporaries. Nixon, who believed in, and implemented, nonsense like wage and price controls, is not worthy to be mentioned in the same breath as Ryan.

  6. Seems to me you guys ought to get off your high horse re/Rand. She wrote some pretty good fiction and made a lot of sense in support of an economic system she believed in. And lets face it it can’t be much worse than the one we live with here. Economics is/was known at the “dismal science” and in pure form is amoral (as is all science), so it is a perfect fit for an atheist. There is nothing that says that after the science is done you can’t add a “variable constant” called the fudge factor, or even better call it compassion or Christian Charity. Market forces work. The amazing thing is that they work as well as they do here when we interfere every step of the way.
    There is always something to learn, no matter how despicable your source. If you don’t think so go reread “Screwtape Letters” by C. S. Lewis. I think it paints a pretty good picture of the devil. Yes, I know it is fiction, but so are “Fountainhead” and “Atlas Shrugged” – of course it’ts been 30 years since I read any of them so . . .

  7. Only if puerile rubbish is pretty good. I laughed my way through Atlas Shrugged when I was eight. Even then I was able to recognize a rotten writer when I encountered one. When Gary Cooper was playing Howard Roark in the movie version of The Fountainhead he had to give one of the speeches that always littered Ayn Rand’s tracts. He said he had to memorize it, and that it was pretty difficult since parts of it seemed silly, parts crazy and parts didn’t make any sense at all. That is a pretty good summary of Ayn Rand as a writer.

  8. Ivan: Ryan is a smart man. He is one of the precious few (this does not include 18,669 academic econ PhD’s; Federal Reserve System analysts, and all but two on Wall Street) that saw the massing housing bubble and tried to cut it off.

    I guess I still have a shot at being a “good” Catholic. I never read any of Rand’s stuff.

  9. Mr. McCleary, I very much agree with your comments. When I was in highschool I read Rand’s fiction. I do remember thinking, “Oh that could never happen in America!” However as fictional is it was and is, some of her intellectual blithering seems to have come to and are coming to pass.

  10. Oh, her criticisms of the Welfare State had some validity, but everything about the novels were simply over the top, humorless and unintentionally funny. Ayn Rand was such a humorless writer of potboilers. I honestly think that her novels sold as well as they did, because she mixed in a fair amount of sex with her turgid polemics, back at time when that was far rarer than in our smut drenched time.

  11. When I went through my libertarian phase on my journey from left to right, I tried to plow through Rand and found her simply unreadable. I know there are female Rand fans out there, but I’ve never met them. The most enthusiastic Randians I met were inevitably single men in their 20’s and early 30’s, usually very bright and ambitious. The gospel of individualism and the “virtue” of selfishness appeals to certain driven young guys who are burning to make their mark on the world. (And then they marry and start families and find that two o’clock feedings and colicky babies put quite a damper on selfishness.)

    I would add that those young Randians I knew were mainly engineers, math and science guys with little interest in reading fiction in general – which is why they mistook Rand for a great writer. They hadn’t read enough really great fiction to realize how cardboard Rand’s characters are and what a bad stylist she was.

    When I heard that Ryan read Rand, I smiled, because he certainly fits the profile. I didn’t think for a moment that it meant that he was really heartless and selfish, anymore than the Rand fans I knew were heartless and selfish. On the contrary, they were nice, wonkish guys who liked to talk a tough game because they were young and callow.

    Hey, it’s enough for me that Ryan knows his math. Expecting great taste in fiction would be asking too much 😉

  12. Donna V.,
    Interesting. In that young 20’s age bracket, I think it was the individualism more than any other idea that came out of the “Fountainhead” – the time when life is sort of the open road. I had been reading lists of classics, and decided to look at something more ‘modern’ during some weekend or other and, at that age, as a girl, for the romance aspect so touted around the alternative-to-classics conversations by professors. Unreal. Just reading a novel doesn’t deter furthering experience and development. A life has its ages and seasons.

    Have to wonder what novels so defined the radical left that are freaking out over this. Have to wonder how their budget looks – but they don’t have one, do they?

    Mainly, I want to say that I’m sure that Paul Ryan has read other books, and that I agree with you on his budgeting brilliance based on reality and math skill.

  13. Paul Ryan was in Carnegie, just a few miles outside of Pittsburgh (the hometown of Honus Wagner and Mike Ditka, for those who are interested). it is also the charming little town where I catch the bus, but I doubt if anyone care much about that.

    Ryan knocked it out of the park. He charmed the audience with his wit and had a great grasp of the issues. Of course, the local Democrat Party dragged out their rent-a-mob with their pre-printed protest posters, along with a supremely stupid remark for Rich Fitzgerald, Allegheny County Executive and typical Pittsburgh Democrat hack.

  14. Hi Donald, by intellectual I had meant someone capable enough to drive arguments to the logical conclusions and possibly write their own books. Karl Marx is certainly an intellectual but a malign one, I do not necessarily hold them in high esteem. According to Wiki the wage and price controls were imposed under the extraordinary circumstance that the US was going off the Gold Standard. It would seem a prudent decision to head off a price wage spiral as the value of the US dollar comes to a new equilibrium against a basket of necessities and currencies, and lasted for all of 90 days. Pres Nixon had too many enemies for one lifetime. The Republican Yachting Club never considered this ambitious son of a poor man one of its own, and the Democrats had their knives at the ready since the HUAC hearings. Then too the Vietnam War was raging, and all too many intellectuals and politicians had a vested interest in seeing Nixon fail in South East Asia. Pres Nixon did have a plan for Vietnam, which was simplicity itself. Arm and train the South and in the meantime punish the Commies with devastating air raids for ceasefire violations. For a while the US succeeded, but the green-eyed Congress cut him off at his knees by embargoing supplies to the South, by spreading defeatism, and by tying his hands when it came to bombing the North.

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